Mike Scruggs

Real immigration reform: will wisdom or dishonor prevail?


By Mike Scruggs –

The first big mistake in U.S. immigration policy was the 1965 Immigration “Reform” Act, which broadened family reunification preference policy from nuclear family (spouses and minor children) to extended family. The extended family policy, which included an endless chain of siblings, parents, and in-laws, resulted in Chain Migration. Chain Migration changed the character of U.S. immigration from limited and selective to an out-of-control immigration tsunami that made immigration an increasing fiscal and social burden on the nation.

The second big mistake was the 1986 Immigration “Reform” Act, which gave amnesty to nearly three million illegal immigrants. It should not have been surprising that amnesty multiplies illegal immigration, but that obvious bit of reason was ignored. Much of the 1986 Reform Act contained badly needed immigration enforcement provisions to protect U.S. workers and penalize employers who hired illegal immigrants. There were also provisions requiring amnestied workers to pay back-taxes, but after the bill had passed, the very same Democrats who had promised to back these tough enforcement and penalty provisions as a trade for immediate amnesty began to block and undermine them. The enforcement provisions went unenforced by President Clinton and presidents thereafter.

Six supplemental amnesties from 1994 to 2000, giving more than three million additional amnesties subsequently multiplied our immigration problems and mauled the credibility of U.S. immigration policy.

New York Senator Charles Schumer, a sponsor of the current Gang-of-Eight Immigration Reform (and Amnesty) bill was a member of the House of Representatives in 1986 and voted for the bill. However, he immediately began to undermine enforcement of tax penalties. He succeeded by tucking one sentence on page 187 of the 499-page Technical and Miscellaneous Revenue Act of 1988, which barred the Immigration and Naturalization Service from sharing any tax information with the IRS pursuant to amnesty applications.

Schumer and his Gang-of-Eight are making similar border security and enforcement promises now in exchange for a huge amnesty for ten million or more illegal immigrants. Given Schumer’s past record of breaking promises, who outside of madhouse would trust him now on the very same issues? Yet in addition to the four Senate Democrats on the Gang-of-Eight, there are four Republicans: McCain, Graham, Flake, and Rubio. The Gang’s immigration “reform” plan is almost identical to President Obama’s, and includes immediate amnesty.

Rubio’s backing of the Gang’s plan certainly threatens his reputation as a conservative. Moreover, his career immigration record in the House and Senate (rated 38 percent or C- by NumbersUSA) is scarcely better than Lindsey Graham’s. Curiously, a December survey of 700 registered voters by Public Policy Polling found that among the 90 Hispanic voters, only 24 percent said they were favorable to Rubio, and 42 percent said they were unfavorable to him. This sample is suspect because of its small size, but according to post-election analysis of Rubio’s 2010 Florida Senate victory, Rubio won because of the Republican leaning Cuban vote. He only got 40 percent of the non-Cuban Hispanic vote.

Illegal and legal immigration were so out-of-control by 1990 that Congress mandated a thorough study of immigration issues. The Jordan Commission, named for Barbara Jordan, its Chair for several years, was a bi-partisan committee, which included several prominent civic leaders and distinguished academics. They studied the issues thoroughly for six years. However, their recommendations, presented to President Clinton and Congress in 1997, were ignored by the President and a majority of Congress. Yet those who have studied immigration issues thoroughly and objectively still consider the Jordan Commission Report an extraordinarily credible and thorough blueprint for desperately needed real immigration reform. Here are the most currently relevant of the major recommendations:

Enforce immigration law vigorously with no further amnesties. Enforcement must be internal, especially at the workplace, as well as at the border.

Related to the above recommendation: Reducing the employment magnet is the most important linchpin to deterring unlawful immigration.

Protect U.S. workers from unfair competition and foreign workers from exploitation and abuse.

Reduce the total number of legal immigrants to 550,000 annually. Too many legal immigrants can also hurt job prospects and drive down wages for Americans. (Harvard labor economist George Borjas has recommended a 500,000 annual limit to avoid economic and social assimilation problems.)

Strictly regulate nonimmigrant visa programs. Between 40 and 50 percent of illegal immigrants are legal visa violators.

They strongly recommended AGAINST Guest-worker programs, which had hurt U.S. workers, taxpayers, and communities in the past, and actually increased illegal immigration. For example, many legal agricultural guest-workers violate their visas and take a better job in construction or retail. In addition, they result in unacceptable numbers of birthright citizenships.

Eliminate the Extended Family provisions of the 1965 law.

Restrict the eligibility of illegal immigrants from publicly-funded services or assistance except on an emergency basis.

Emphasize nuclear family reunification and objectively substantiated skill shortages to prioritize immigration numbers. Avoid accumulations of unskilled labor likely to require public support in the future.

Real immigration reform is being blocked by two principal forces: Liberal politicians who want to import more social-welfare oriented voters and businesses that want more cheap labor regardless of the consequences to the country. President Obama and the Democrat Party are the best representatives of the first group. The biggest and most powerful lobby for the second group is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Senator Jeff Sessions (R, AL) recently said of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

“The Chamber’s primary goal has never been to establish a lawful immigration system and secure our borders, but to get as much cheap labor as possible—regardless of how it impacts American workers, legal immigrants, and taxpayers in general.”

Real immigration reform is being cast aside, and our founding principles, our freedoms, and our country are teetering on the edge of destruction because immigration is being used to gain political power and unscrupulous profit.

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